Special Issue "Impacts of the Neighborhood Environment on Cancer Prevention, Outcomes and Disparities"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Kirsten Beyer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA
Interests: health disparities; greenspace; spatial analysis; racial segregation; housing
Dr. Amber L. Pearson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Science, College of Social Science, Michigan State University,East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Interests: health geography; socioeconomic contributors to health in poor and wealthy countries; drinking water; health inequalities; built, physical and social environments

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The characteristics of neighborhood environments are known to contribute to health outcomes and disparities, including in cancer. While research increasingly examines the influence of neighborhood characteristics—particularly measures of socioeconomic status—on cancer, more research is needed. In this Special Issue, we request cancer-focused submissions in three areas that require additional attention: (1) studies incorporating novel social, built and natural environment measures, (2) studies using innovative methods to examine pathways/mechanisms/processes linking neighborhood characteristics to cancer outcomes, and (3) studies that explicitly consider issues of neighborhood exposures, cancer latency and residential mobility over time and space.

  1. Cancer prevention, cancer control, cancer outcomes, cancer disparities
  2. Social environment (structural racism, racial segregation, racial composition, socioeconomic status, neighborhood social cohesion, social norms)
  3. Built environment (transportation, land use, walkability, housing, food environment)
  4. Natural environment (parks, greenspaces, trees, gardens, landscapes)
  5. Residential selection bias, residential mobility, cancer latency, cumulative risk
  6. Causality, mediation, pathways and processes linking neighborhoods and cancer

Dr. Kirsten Beyer
Dr. Amber L. Pearson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Measuring Neighborhood Landscapes: Associations between a Neighborhood’s Landscape Characteristics and Colon Cancer Survival
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4728; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094728 - 29 Apr 2021
Viewed by 574
Abstract
Landscape characteristics have been shown to influence health outcomes, but few studies have examined their relationship with cancer survival. We used data from the National Land Cover Database to examine associations between regional-stage colon cancer survival and 27 different landscape metrics. The study [...] Read more.
Landscape characteristics have been shown to influence health outcomes, but few studies have examined their relationship with cancer survival. We used data from the National Land Cover Database to examine associations between regional-stage colon cancer survival and 27 different landscape metrics. The study population included all adult New Jersey residents diagnosed between 2006 and 2011. Cases were followed until 31 December 2016 (N = 3949). Patient data were derived from the New Jersey State Cancer Registry and were linked to LexisNexis to obtain residential histories. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI95) for the different landscape metrics. An increasing proportion of high-intensity developed lands with 80–100% impervious surfaces per cell/pixel was significantly associated with the risk of colon cancer death (HR = 1.006; CI95 = 1.002–1.01) after controlling for neighborhood poverty and other individual-level factors. In contrast, an increase in the aggregation and connectivity of vegetation-dominated low-intensity developed lands with 20–<40% impervious surfaces per cell/pixel was significantly associated with the decrease in risk of death from colon cancer (HR = 0.996; CI95 = 0.992–0.999). Reducing impervious surfaces in residential areas may increase the aesthetic value and provide conditions more advantageous to a healthy lifestyle, such as walking. Further research is needed to understand how these landscape characteristics impact survival. Full article
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Article
Neighborhood Disadvantage and Tobacco Retail Outlet and Vape Shop Outlet Rates
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2864; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082864 - 21 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1215
Abstract
Neighborhood-level socioeconomic variables, such as the proportion of minority and low-income residents, have been associated with a greater density of tobacco retail outlets (TROs), though less is known about the degree to which these neighborhood indicators are related to vape shop outlet (VSO) [...] Read more.
Neighborhood-level socioeconomic variables, such as the proportion of minority and low-income residents, have been associated with a greater density of tobacco retail outlets (TROs), though less is known about the degree to which these neighborhood indicators are related to vape shop outlet (VSO) density. Many studies of TROs and neighborhood characteristics include only a small set of variables and also fail to take into account the correlation among these variables. Using a carefully curated database of all TROs and VSOs in Virginia (2016–2018), we developed a Bayesian model to estimate a neighborhood disadvantage index and examine its association with rates of outlets across census tracts while also accounting for correlations among variables. Models included 12 census tract variables from the American Community Survey. Results showed that increasing neighborhood disadvantage was associated with a 63% and 64% increase in TRO and VSO risk, respectively. Important variables associated with TRO rates included % renter occupied housing, inverse median gross rent, inverse median monthly housing costs, inverse median monthly housing costs, and % vacant housing units. Important variables associated with VSO rates were % renter occupied housing and % Hispanic population. There were several spatial clusters of significantly elevated risk for TROs and VSOs in western and eastern Virginia. Full article
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Review

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Review
Neighborhood Characteristics and Cancer Survivorship: An Overview of the Current Literature on Neighborhood Landscapes and Cancer Care
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 7192; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18137192 - 05 Jul 2021
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Abstract
There is a growing literature on the association between neighborhood contexts and cancer survivorship. To understand the current trends and the gaps in the literature, we aimed to answer the following questions: To what degree, and how, has cancer survivorship research accounted for [...] Read more.
There is a growing literature on the association between neighborhood contexts and cancer survivorship. To understand the current trends and the gaps in the literature, we aimed to answer the following questions: To what degree, and how, has cancer survivorship research accounted for neighborhood-level effects? What neighborhood metrics have been used to operationalize neighborhood factors? To what degree do the neighborhood level metrics considered in cancer research reflect neighborhood development as identified in the Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) guidelines? We first conducted a review guided by PRISMA extension for scoping review of the extant literature on neighborhood effects and cancer survivorship outcomes from January 2000 to January 2021. Second, we categorized the studied neighborhood metrics under six main themes. Third, we assessed the findings based on the LEED-ND guidelines to identify the most relevant neighborhood metrics in association with areas of focus in cancer survivorship care and research. The search results were scoped to 291 relevant peer-reviewed journal articles. Results show that survivorship disparities, primary care, and weight management are the main themes in the literature. Additionally, most articles rely on neighborhood SES as the primary (or only) examined neighborhood level metric. We argue that the expansion of interdisciplinary research to include neighborhood metrics endorsed by current paradigms in salutogenic urban design can enhance the understanding of the role of socioecological context in survivorship care and outcomes. Full article
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